Oh Scion, we hardly knew you. Born in 2002 as an attempt to bring younger drivers into the Toyota family, the Scion brand name will be no more in the very near future. After declining sales the last few years, it was announced today that while the brand will be discontinued, several of their cars will live on, re-badged as Toyota vehicles for Model Year 2017 (MY17).
While the company was spun off back in 2002 to try and woo younger drivers, part of the announcement today was, in some ways, to say “Mission Accomplished.” According to Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion, and now CEO Toyota Motor NA:
I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.
And the release continues:
Toyota’s decision was made in response to customers’ needs. Today’s younger buyers still want fun-to-drive vehicles that look good, but they are also more practical. They, like their parents, have come to appreciate the Toyota brand and its traditional attributes of quality, dependability and reliability. At the same time, new Toyota vehicles have evolved to feature the dynamic styling and handling young people desire.
While some may lament the passing of the brand, the remnants of Scion aren’t mourning. All 22 of the strictly Scion team members, covering areas including sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, and product and accessories planning, will all be offered positions with Toyota. Scion owners shouldn’t worry either, as their vehicles have always been serviced at Toyota dealerships in the past, and will still be serviced at Toyota dealerships in the future.
With Auto Show season in full swing (keep an eye on Techaeris for news coming out of the Chicago Auto Show next week!), some may have noticed that Scion actually announced a new concept vehicle at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. The production version of that vehicle, the C-HR, will be brought over to Toyota upon its release. Also making the cut and transitioning to Toyota for MY17 are the FR-S, iA, and iM. The tC will see one final release under the Scion brand, but will cease production this August.
So don’t be sad, Scion owners. While you may be losing your brand name, you’ll be gaining an even bigger backing from Toyota, and then maybe further down the line from Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus. Really the only person who should be sad is Patrick Monahan, lead singer of the band Train. In just a few months he’ll need to figure out some new lyrics for a song, or simply have a confusing reference when making up stories about his ex-girlfriend.
Scion owners: what do you think about the brand name going away? Will you stick with Toyota, or move on to a new automaker? Let us know in the comment section below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.
[button link=”http://pressroom.scion.com/releases/scion+transition+toyota.htm” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Scion[/button]